Leo Falkenstein is one of six Grady alumni in the 2021 Bulldog 100 class. (Photo: provided; Design: Sophia Haynes, Yarbrough Fellow)
Bulldog 100 Honoree Interview: Leo Falkenstein (ABJ ’13)
This is one of a series of interviews honoring Grady College College alumni who have been recognized as Bulldog 100 recipients in 2021. The Bulldog 100 is sponsored by the UGA Alumni Association and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni.
Other Grady College alumni recognized in the 2021 Bulldog 100 class include:
Leo Falkenstein (ABJ ’13, BBA ’14) is the co-founder and executive producer for Consume Media, an Atlanta-based creative video services marketing agency.
He has turned his passion of creating videos in college into a comprehensive digital video operation that helps businesses and organizations share their stories with online audiences.
Grady College: What motivates you?
Falkenstein: “Fun. I want to do things that I enjoy! I started making videos because it was fun. I started a business because it sounded fun. I continue to operate Consume Media because I truly can’t imagine doing anything more fun.”
GC: What is your favorite memory from your time in Athens?
Falkenstein: “My time in Athens was also a lot of fun.”
“Athens has a legendary music scene and there is something truly special about experiencing a concert at the Georgia Theatre.”
“When we were students in Athens, Consume Media worked in the music industry; creating concert films, music videos, and tour promos for local artists. Over the course of a few years, we worked our way up from having absolutely no clients to being well-known in the Athens Music Community.”
“After years of grinding, we filmed our largest production ever: an 11-camera production with Perpetual Groove at the Georgia Theatre. I remember feeling like Consume Media had reached new heights, but looking back, we were only going to keep climbing from there.”
GC: How has your field changed since you were a Grady student?
Falkenstein: “It’s exciting that Consume Media is in the emerging space of Video Marketing. When I graduated from Grady in 2013, Video Marketing was barely even a term. Now, every business is expected to be using video for every product at every stage of the customer lifecycle. The industry has come a long way from just creating a video and praying for it to go viral on YouTube.”
GC: What skills and/or values and/or circumstances do you attribute to your success?
Falkenstein: “For me, it comes down to these three things.”
“Don’t Quit. When starting something new, it’s incredibly easy to give up. You have to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Consume Media didn’t hire our first employee until year five. If you are passionate about something, work hard at it every single day. Follow your dreams and you won’t find yourself looking back.”
“Always be Improving. Our product has changed and evolved tremendously since 2012. I feel like in order to grow a business, you must always be looking to improve your product. In order to succeed, you need to give the customer what they want! Never stop learning, and always strive for something greater.”
“Truly Care. Care about your customers! Life is all about relationships. Be good to others and watch your network grow.”
GC: What is the most important skill an entrepreneur must master?
Falkenstein: “Both in life and business, communication is a vital skill. In business, communication can be the reason a project succeeds or bombs. I’ve learned that more often than not, mistakes and missed deadlines are caused by bad communication internally, not by an inept team. If you can master and facilitate communication, you can lead any team.”